On 18/9/2012 around 8.15 p.m. Mamata Banerjee in a press conference announced withdrawal of support to UPA government. TMC will not be part of UPA. TMC ministers will submit their resignation letters to PM at 3 p.m. on Friday, 21/9/2012. She did mention the date but that was implied.
Mamata Banerjee was unhappy with diesel price rise, cap on LPG cylinders with subsidy at six per year per family, and FDI in multi-brand retail. Most people are unhappy with diesel price rise as it will lead to other price rises. Cap on LPG cylinders will not affect most families as they do not use for than six cylinders per year. FDI in multi-brand retail is beneficial to farmers while small shop owners will lose.
Mamata Banerjee had given 72 hours ultimatum to centre to rollback and the centre did not oblige. The meeting that began at 5 p.m. lasted for more than three hours, unusual for TMC. May be TMC ministers in union cabinet did not want to quit. May be some TMC MPs felt there is nothing to gain from quitting UPA. Mayawati or Mulayam will rescue UPA and TMC will be loser.
Mamata Banerjee did not send letter of withdrawal of support to President. If she had sent the letter the President would have asked the government to prove its majority in Lok Sabha. She gave almost 67 hours time to Congress to reverse decisions. The possibility of a compromise between Congress and TMC exists. Even after TMC ministers resign, talks can go on.
Mamata Banerjee said her party is the second largest in UPA. With 19 members TMC is less than one tenth of Congress which has 206 members and just one more than DMK which has 18 members. If TMC quits, BSP which has 21 members can join UPA. Mayawati can be railway minister. Portfolios held by TMC can go to BSP.
TMC does not need Congress support in West Bengal. With TMC out of UPA, Congress members will have to quit the cabinet in West Bengal and sit in opposition. Mamata Banerjeeâ€™s calculation is that central government will fall within six months. That may not happen. Congress may continue in power through various permutations and combinations. When Left Front withdrew support in 2008 Congress survived.
Congress leaders in West Bengal wanted to break the alliance with TMC long back. They were told to hold on due to reasons like budget session and presidential election. Out of UPA, TMCâ€™s chances of power at centre are limited. It does not want to be part of NDA or any front that has Left Front in it. A front consisting TMC and remaining parties is unlikely to get power at centre.
Pranab Mukherjee and Purno Albert Sangma are the two candidates for president of India. When UPA announced Pranab as its candidate some journalists said he will get 82% of votes, Purno will get 6%. NDA and Left Front had not decided on candidates, CPI had said it will oppose Congress candidate, many other parties had not declared their support to any candidate. The journalists added NDA and Left Front votes to Pranab. Instead of being objective they behaved like Pranabâ€™s cheerleaders.
TMC wanted A. P. J. Abdul Kalam to contest. JD(U) was in favour of Pranab. When NDAâ€™s meeting ended inclusive Kalam did not want to contest. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat spoke in favour of Kalam but that was too late. Ram Jethmalani said if BJP did not put up a candidate he will contest.
There was talk that Purno will be offered the post of high commissioner to Mauritius and he will not contest. That infuriated Purno. NCP did not want Purno to contest. Purno quit NCP. Along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar he was a founder of NCP.
On 21/6/2012 BJP and SAD decided to support Purno. JD(U) and Shiv Sena were on Pranabâ€™s side.
There was no Breaking News when many meetings happened. After Mamata and Mulayam rejected the names of Pranab and Hamid Ansari and suggested the names of Manmohan Singh, Abdul Kalam and Somnath Chatterjee, Mulayam met Sonia Gandhi. There was no Breaking News. Next day Mulayam met A. K. Antony and Ahmed Patel. There was no Breaking News. After that Mulayam met Sonia Gandhi. There was no Breaking News. When Pranab came to Bombay he met Bal Thackeray. There was no Breaking News. It is not good when TV channels suppress news.
In a democracy elections should be contested. Two candidates are ideal. More candidates means someone gets elected with less than half the votes. Something is wrong when there is no contest and someone is declared elected unopposed. Consensus is not democracy.
Pranab as minister has held various portfolios except that of home and did not become prime minister. Purno was labour minister and speaker of Lok Sabha.
I am a candidate to become the President of India for which soon there will be election. The new President is to take over on 25/7/2007. I ask political parties and independent MPs and MLAs who can vote in the election to support me. Nominated MPs and MLAs cannot vote in the election of the President.
Congress in is favour of common man (aam admi). Their slogan is â€œCongress ka hath aam admi ke sathâ€ (The hand of Congress is with common man). Congress leads UPA. I am a common man. So Congress led UPA should support me. Left Front generally goes along with UPA. So Left Front should support me. Left has three criteria for the candidate like he should be a political person and should have secular credentials. I do not remember the third criterion. Left can overlook its criteria as I they may not consider me a political person. But once I am elected Left will find me political.
BJP leads NDA. BJP claims it is secular and their opponents are pseudo-secular. For BJP secularism means supporting a Muslim or Christian candidate for the post of President, though in reality that is not secularism but tokenism towards other religions. Secularism is anti-thesis of religion. Last time they were in favour of P. C. Alexander. However Congress shot down the proposal. This time they BJP led NDA can support me.
When UPA and NDA support me, my victory is assured. Other parties and independent MPs and MLAs are welcome to support me.